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Big Band

  • Date Submitted: 10/07/2011 01:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 60.8 
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Big Band
      Big band is a type of musical group that consists of around 12 to 25 people musicians. The genre of music that they are usually associated with is jazz. However, during the 1930s, big bands were associated with swing music. A big band usually has saxophones, trumpets, trombones, vibraphone, singers, and a rhythm section. There are many types of big bands. Specifically, there are jazz bands, jazz ensembles, stage bands, jazz orchestras, society bands, and dance bands. Their music is arranged ahead of time rather being improvised on the spot. Improvised solos only happen when the arranger calls for it.
One type of big band music is orchestral jazz or jazz orchestra. It developed during the 1920s. Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington were the two artists who developed the genre most significantly. Fletcher Henderson was the first person to put together a full jazz orchestra. He combined smaller quintets and sextets with some notable players. His orchestra included the talent of Don Redman, an alto saxophonist who was a multi-instrumentalist.
      Duke Ellington, on the other hand, was one of the most significant composers. He started off in “Elmer Snowden and his Black Sox Orchestra”, which was later renamed “The Washingtonians.” When Snowden left the group, Ellington became the bandleader and the group played at the Kentucky Club. “Duke Ellington and his Kentucky Club Orchestra” grew into a ten-piece organization. From 1932 to 1942, his orchestra was booked as a regular in the Harlem’s Cotton House. During that period of time, the group thrived and it was considered their golden age. During this time, the recording industry was facing a crisis and many bands did not survive. However, this group did by going on tours and having radio exposure. Ivie Anderson was their featured vocalist. The group also managed to become popular overseas due to their visit to England. The Duke Ellington Orchestra had reached a creative peak in the 1940s. The members...


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